Athletic Trainer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Evaluates, advises and treats athletes to assist recovery from injury, avoid injury, or maintain peak physical fitness.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Support Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Conducts an initial assessment of an athlete's injury or illness to provide emergency or continued care, and to determine whether they should be referred to physicians for definitive diagnosis and treatment.
  • Evaluates athletes' readiness to play, and provides participation clearances when necessary and warranted.
  • Applies protective or injury preventive devices such as tape, bandages, or braces to body parts such as ankles, fingers, or wrists.
  • Assesses and reports the progress of recovering athletes to coaches and physicians.
  • Collaborates with physicians to develop and implement comprehensive rehabilitation programs for athletic injuries.
  • Cares for athletic injuries using physical therapy equipment, techniques, and medication.
  • Performs general administrative tasks such as keeping records and writing reports.
  • Plans and implements comprehensive athletic injury and illness prevention programs.
  • Instructs coaches, athletes, parents, medical personnel, and community members in the care and prevention of athletic injuries.
  • Travels with athletic teams to be available at sporting events.

Insider Info

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Athletic Trainers

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Athletic Instructor --